One way to treat back pain is to use inversion tables. They’re designed to use gravity and produce some traction in the pelvis and spine.
This could take the pressure off compressed nerves, discs, and joints. Typically, inversion therapy includes reclining at a downward angle. You should keep in mind that it isn’t fully upside down.
There aren’t a lot of studies that show the effectiveness of using inversion tables for treating back pain. However, according to anecdotal reports, several individuals do experience relief at least for the short term.
But, this type of treatment affects the flow of the blood. This is especially true to the head. That is why people with heart conditions, glaucoma, or hypertension should be wary.
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1. Know Its Limitations
It is crucial to know that an inversion table isn’t meant to replace treatments or the advice provided by a medical professional, physiotherapist, chiropractor, or orthopedist. Several medical doctors suggest inversion tables.
Some of these medical professionals even have inversion tables in their clinics. However, if you talk about long-term effect, there are no pieces of evidence that this treatment can cure any conditions or illnesses of the spine. Because of this, it is likely ideal to consider inversion therapy as short-term relief to manage sciatica and back pain.
- Inversion tables will not need you to hang upside down compared to racks and inversion boots. Rather, they enable a person to lay flat comfortably and slowly invert his/herself at incremental downward angles.
- Individuals with a history of stroke or migraines, high blood pressure, and eye conditions (retinal detachment or glaucoma) should be extremely wary when using inversion tables since your blood pressure increases whenever you are inverted for more than several minutes. This is particularly true within your eyeballs and head.
2. Put Your Inversion Table in an Open Area
Inversion tables that you can use at home, such as MaxKare Inversion Table, are fairly inexpensive.
They usually range from $100 to $500. You can find these devices at rehabilitation stores and medical supply. Your health insurance might even cover the expenses for purchasing one for particular back injuries.
After you purchase one, you have to ensure that there’s a lot of available area around the table. This is for you to avoid causing other injuries or banging your head.
In addition to that, it is ideal to put it on a secured mat or rug so it does not become unstable or slide about.
- You can think about placing your inversion table in your garage, rec room, attic, or basement. You can put it anywhere that enables at least 5’ of open area around the table.
- The principle of inversion therapy isn’t new. According to several professionals, inversion therapy existed around the year 400 BC.
3. Adjust the Inversion Table to Your Height
For maximum effectiveness, you can adjust the height of your inversion table. Thus, you should take the time to adjust it. Make sure that it really fits your body.
Almost every inversion table has a bar with measurements. You can adjust this using the knob. Once you’ve adjusted the table, you have to ensure you securely tighten the knob.
- Since your inversion table might not be suitable for extremely short or tall individuals, you have to carefully read the instruction manual. The manual should provide a height range that is safe for use.
- This type of therapy is a form of spinal traction. This is often suggested to decompress spinal disc injuries like bulges and herniation.
4. Begin with the Lowest Degree of Inclination
You can consider your inversion table as a tiny bed that you can adjust to around 60 degrees from the neutral level or horizontal position. Thus, you should begin with a slight decline if you aren’t familiar with using an inversion table.
For instance, you can start at an angle where your head is at a lower level than your feet. Usually, this will be around 10 degrees. You might have a headache or you might feel dizzy if you incline too much angle too soon. This is because of the sudden flow of blood to your head.
- Slowly increase the degree of inclination over the course of several days as you get familiar to the change in blood pressure/flow and the feeling. For instance, if you are using it on a day-to-day basis, you can increase the angle of inclination by 5 degrees each week.
- You have to ensure that the safety strap is connected properly to make sure that it won’t invert all the way and shake your body.
5. Slowly Climb Onto the Table and Lock Your Feet
You can slide on to the inversion table after you adjust the height and you set its angle. You should flush your back with the table and you should be looking up at the ceiling. Then, in order to lock your feet with the straps, you will have to do a minor sit-up.
Instead of going barefoot, wearing slip-on shoes will offer more protection and comfort. Next, to cause the table to recline, you will have to throw your weight back and lift your hands above your head.
For a predetermined period of time, try to relax in the inverted position.
- Ask another person to supervise or help you while getting on to the inversion table until you get the hang of the process. This is especially true if you’re a huge individual with limited flexibility or mobility.
- You should expect to feel that your low back, joints of your legs, ligaments, tendons, and muscles will stretch. However, it isn’t painful. The gentle traction offered by the inversion table might offer fast relief if your back pain is caused by a jammed spinal facet joint or a compressed nerve.
6. Slowly Improve the Duration and Frequency of Your Sessions
You will be the only one who can determine the best angle as well as the most helpful amount of time spent on an inversion table. Several individuals might benefit from 3 sessions a week for 15 minutes per session.
On the other hand, other people might prefer longer durations and more sessions on the inversion table. The important thing to consider here is if whether or not it affects your symptoms positively. Generally, you likely should not exceed 3x a day and no more than 1-hour a session.
However, there are a lot of factors involved to provide accurate medical advice.
- Stay inverted for less than 5 minutes for the first time. You should do this even if the position does not cause any side effects and it feels good. As recommended, increase your time. However, if you feel more shooting pains into your legs or more back pain, you should never stay inverted.
- Almost every individual appears to settle on a degree of inclination around 20 and 60 degrees. You should not exceed what your body tells you.
- Several medical professionals, such as Chiropractors, are familiar with inversion therapy. That is why you should consult one to recommend the ideal inversion table for you. Several medical professionals even have them at their clinics. You should take advantage of this before you buy one.